Your Favorite Cliche: Day 1

Well, here I am.  Day one of 2019.  Locked and loaded.  Imperfect in my plans and desires but missing you all dreadfully.  Every one of you my favorite voice in the Void.  Me not writing last year had reasons, I suppose, but none of them ever seemed very reasonable.  I just didn’t want to deal and I see now, the results of not dealing.  You gain weight.  You stress out.  You lose hair.  Your gums ache.  Your heart is powdered.  You exist but only on the terms of the unforgiving universe.

I would like to think we can do better than that.

So here at the start of the year, I’m not afraid of a useless five hundred a day.  I’m not afraid of repetitive posts, of a whining, broken record telling me the same hopes and draining me of the same fears three hundred and sixty-five times in a row.  Because somewhere in all of my nonsense, there are granules of the good stuff.  Clarity and freedom and mental security where I know what I want because it’s on virtual paper.

I have grand plans for 2019 and I’m not afraid of that, either.  I’m not afraid of the piping, shrill, nasal inner voice that indicates “She always has plans! And all of them go to shit!”  Sure, dear critic, I have plans and want things, things that my circumstances do not warrant, things I am not trained or prepared for, things that I don’t have any way of getting – especially, when I refuse to acknowledge that I want them.  I’m human.  It’s okay.

And I’ve done work in 2018 to clear some paths.  I’m in therapy again.  I’ve got every kind of tracker imaginable and I’m joining boards and teams and taking before shots and measuring myself the way it’s suggested so I have that baseline.  I’m not making any decisions on doing low-carb until after my birthday.  I’m going to try and practice careful tracking and exercise and loosely reducing sugar and starch in the meantime, but I know that I am going to hit those dates and judge myself based on my behavior and I want to give myself the best chance I have.   My friends are coming in a few days – 10 days – and I care more about figuring out some supportive habits that I can keep going through that than showing everyone I can be perfect.  When nobody knows what I think perfect is anyway, nobody cares in that regard at all.  I have what I need to do mapped out.  I have things beyond just dieting and exercise that are important to me to get back into and they’re a part of this movement forward.  I am here.  I will be here, writing my shit out instead of leaving it somewhere lost in a fog in my brain.

J.  Well, there, at least I can say that I am growing myself up.  We had an adult conversation that didn’t go superlatively well.   I cried a lot. He said I was wonderful, marvelous, all the things any girl would like to hear.  But wouldn’t commit to the fact that we’re single, only to say that he is not in any position to meet anyone.  He doesn’t want things to change.  I don’t want things to change, but I know that they have to – I know that I have to have his understanding that I need a person in my life who is here.  The therapist kept reiterating that’s what I need and at first, I felt frustrated, thinking that was something she thought I needed.  But I can’t live a thousand years on a string.  I’ve lived so long that way and it’s what I know, but it isn’t fair.  It isn’t enough.

So that’s going to be a place where work has to be done.

But not today.  Not everything today.  Today is showing up.  Cheering myself for showing up instead of being down and dire about another restart.  Let’s have a lifetime of restarts and caring for myself enough to give a shit about not letting myself go to shit.  Let’s have a lifetime of being a dork about it.  Let’s be cliches, baby!

Pink in Eureka

Certain forms of hysteria have taken hold.  Perhaps because I made the step to get the blog running in some sort of functional form, I have begun to think I am smart about certain things.  This is not the case.

This is day two of going low-carb.  Low-carb = traditional Atkins, 20 carbs or so for the first two weeks, then, we evaluate how shit is going.  I feel better in a lot of ways already.  The scale, as ever, is fucking with me, but it says I lost 3 pounds (yes, we can hear the yelling of WATER WEIGHT from here) overnight.  I don’t know…I do know that it mattered to me to just start this.  To just do it so here I am.  Having had more vegetables today than I’ve had in eons.  More water.    And less food overall.

I still feel weird and tired (again, the shouting of transitioning and detoxing groggery can be heard for miles) and I have done bare minimums in terms of exercise.  But I did do it.  I did do it with nary a complaint.  I will do it again tomorrow.

I keep thinking about what I want.  That is one thing that my new job has really helped with.  The courses I’ve taken have impressed upon me that I need a plan and I need to work the plan. Goal setting and moving in slow, steady steps towards the future.  That you can actually say I want this big, overblown, challenging result and if you mete it out into little, manageable daily contributions, it would happen.   That’s the issue and that’s why I’ve spent so much time avoiding finishing any of these little, manageable steps.  So that I don’t end up somewhere I don’t want to be.

I’ve done this instead of deciding where I want to be and working really hard to make that happen.

I don’t know if I’ll write this way all the time, but I like that this all has just started and it isn’t January 1 and it isn’t a Monday (not yet).  It’s not a perfect takeoff (I don’t imagine I could even recognize it if it was), but it’s like how with every paycheck, I’m adding to savings, already it feels significant.  If I continue on, the possibility continues on.  If I keep clapping, Tink still glows.

So.  What I want is to be with him.  Not…necessarily in terms of trying to have a partnership on a level that demands that one of us move to where the other one lives, though that doesn’t faze me as it once did, but I want a weekend. I want a day of shared space.  Of mutual presence.  Of figuring out if the shit in my head is anything more than shit in my head.   Not putting carts before horses.  But this, all of this, tells me, I gotta keep on this diet on track if this is really what I want.  And I keep testing it and realizing that it is.






That’s Pretty Dang Good

bird-water-summer-sun (1)

Strange how even making tiny life changes does sort of give you a bit of a hangover.  I didn’t drink at New Year’s this Year and today I feel like I blacked out – possibly for the past 10 days.  A head and neckache to beat the band. Strawberry red in the face for no apparent reason.  Precious.

Melodramatic? Yes.  True…eh, possibly?

Today has been a mentally manic sort of day. Reliving the halcyon days of watching Radio Free Roscoe live, thinking about how much I love Loreena McKennitt, continuing to play an excessive amount of Sims 3, needing to play Dragon Age and allowing lovely shippy, spoilery YouTube videos to suffice, put my can on the seat for 10 minutes on the bike that I am going to have to work hard to not allow to keep me up all night (last night, I must report, went really poorly as a result and I gotta be doing this earlier – I thought it was cool, but it wasn’t, omg, it wasn’t), laid down on the floor and did 10 situps despite reading some new report that suggests they are destroying your body, logging my embarrassing food choices on MyFitnessPal, getting a delightful shitton of information and recipes for my new food processor including stir-fried grated sweet potatoes, working hard and enjoying working hard on good ol’ Bookerie McBooken, finally turning the phone back on and hearing from the boss and not learning that the sky has fallen.  Maybe it has, but we don’t have to do that whole stressing so hard we practically bite our tongue off when we sleep thing anymore.  At least not tonight.  We have two more sleeps till Reality Bites and instead of hunkering down, I’m enjoying who I am right now, outside of all of that.

Things are happening, but it’s not all the things.  It doesn’t have to be ALL THE THINGS.  I can’t be.  I feel the desire to do more than I am doing which is such a nicer feeling than constantly being let down by not being able to all or nothing my life.  You are not a letdown when you’re imperfect, you’re dead-on human and you’re worth recognizing for turning up.

People laugh at that, but it’s one of those laughs where you respond because it touches truth.

+139 random story words from editing and futzing on the novel.

The Tiniest of the Tiny Miracles

vintage-2-1418279I did not collapse over the weekend or die or get sucked up a drain pipe or any other such worries you or I may have had about crossing the imaginary temporal threshold between 2015 and 2016.  I am here, changed because every day changes you, but not changed because I have fully come to terms with my issues and resolved them as sometimes I have imagined in the past this passage would provide or make me capable of doing.  It, as the lady says, doesn’t have to be that way anymore, either.

Instead, I have a lot of hard, hard, back-breaking work to do.   So we can’t get overly hyper about January 1st.  January 4th and the return to work, relatively visionless and deeply concerned, are both on their way so, my friends, instead we get grateful of the last stretch of time to get quiet.  And from that comes a desire to be glad and to use this blog to refocus.

I have done lists of gratefulness before – I don’t think you can get too much gratitude. It centers you amidst your own universe, so you don’t get too far ahead or behind yourself.

    • I am grateful for this time, however poorly or grandly I spent it.   It, like every other 10-day stretch, went too fast regardless.
    • I am grateful as hell for the desire to work on the novel again.  Even if it takes a cheap reason like the cut of a character’s jib to get my rhetorical wheelhouse turning – it’s yet another example of the reason not bearing much on the result.  It is the work that matters and getting this strange and important part of my life together.
    • I am grateful I was willing to get on the scale today.  I am grateful because that was quite a scare it gave me. Like shit, howdy.  You can’t eat like you do, darling and expect to stay at the same not good but not scary spot forever.  Things do shift even if you aren’t watching them move. It makes sense out of a lot of odd body things I’ve been experiencing.  It also makes sense because I started tracking today.  I need to rearrange things here, but I need to share that every day because I SO don’t want you to know.  I live for your approval and eating shittily and saying, “yes, I did have four doughnut holes to match four garlic knots and a piece of pizza and some popcorn and I don’t feel bad about it” does have a strange power over me to actually make me feel – not bad – just alert to what I can do to look good for you.  Again, bad reasons, fine results.
    • Just about getting on my bike.  Don’t care that it’s 10:45p.m.  Gonna be that way a ton this year.
    • I am grateful for old Liz Phair songs, the Pharos Gate,  Lucille Clifton, the limbic system.
    • I am grateful for this meditation video and being able to relate to it.   And the School of Life in general.

It’s What’s For Dinner


Sitting in the dark with a peanut butter and apricot jelly sandwich, with a fan pressed against my skin at  maximum speed, feeling somewhat holy.

The room is, by my standards, and I’d guess most other people’s, clean.  There isn’t anything hiding under the bed except a giant linen bag with a zipper filled with winter clothing.  There aren’t piles like there usually are when I stop cleaning for the day; however, I already feel anxious about what’s happening with the clothing I have on now, where things are going to wind up, what I’m going to do with my plate.  I want, all of a sudden, to be alert to all of it.

That’s the story, that’s the sacramental nature of this weekend, that I worked myself to the bone to find homes for my things.  It is not perfect.  I haven’t run the vacuum cleaner yet, everything’s haphazard on the bookshelves.  It only “looks” neat.   I keep telling myself not to call this done. But I know, for me, right now…looking neat is a far better place than where it was and even that is infinitely better than where it has been…and finding the strength to maintain it instead of being frustrated at myself over not having the interest to get down on my hands and knees and fluff carpet fibers until they’re perfectly coiffed is the actual Herculean task at hand.

I wish I took a before picture.  It looks rather bare now.  I found myself having to stop and breathe because I was willing to toss everything, give away everything.  I had to remind myself that it isn’t a dorm room and I don’t have to live with everything out of these four walls forever and always.  I might someday want a crimson crush velour throw pillow trimmed with little plastic crystals..  Computer for a few minutes, the bell went off, time to clean for a few minutes, back and forth, up and down off this lowrider IKEA bed for nearly two days straight.  It wasn’t mania, but it was an intense couple of days.  I forgot to worry about why I needed to clean up and instead just did.  So now the universe has a sense of order for the moment and I don’t want to let that go. I am up one or two rung on the adulting ladder.  I want to make my lunch, pick out my clothes, get ready to maybe wake up early and exercise.  All these things that take no time at all when you’re not digging through skyscapes of clothing and paper.

So, that was a big portion of the weekend.  The other thing is that I went to the grocery store.  No.  I know.  I know.  I have been a thousand times and I will go a thousand more.  But what mattered this time was that I didn’t hurry out of there.  I am in the extraordinarily fortunate position, that I can, if I want, go to the store with a list and generally get what I want.  But more often than not, anxiety and bad planning keeps me from buying anything other than the same seven or eight things.  It’s all crap and it’s gone that night, again, more often than not.  Pizza, soda, candy, something nominally a vegetable like carrot sticks.  Some weird frozen thing (possibly, probably french fries) or some bottled water.  Depending on the time of day…Starbucks?  Because, you know, you’re breathing and you’re standing in front of a Starbucks and those five bucks might as well be spent on getting you loaded and a bit sparky rather than the exhausted mess that diet generally molds you into being.

Then I’d think, okay, but should I get some fast food before I bring this home?

I know.  Some part of me does know.

I eat out a lot.  One of those big, furry, Allie Brosh-style alots.  I attach feelings to eating out.  It represents a certainly level of security and in my mind, it hints at worthiness.   Nobody would refuse to serve me, I’ve got my money in my hand, and I can walk out with my little package and be as fancy as all the other fancy, worthy, bleary-eyed families in the line.

So I have been thinking lately about what I can do to change this habit, this addiction, this life plan without a life.  I keep going back to when did I eat like a normal person?  And the answer to that was: when someone else took care of providing you with it.  I was always helping my mother in the kitchen, starting as chief stirrer, and then, I paid attention.  Even if my mother seems unsure about this fact, I can definitely cook.  I definitely like cooking.  I just feel like somehow, I’m missing out.  I’m not proving my okayness.   But…now, after so many years of being able to grab whatever I want, whenever I want and have as much of it as I physically can get down my gullet, I wonder:  what if I just made my own food?  What if that was the diet?  Just cooking and eating at home for a while.  Just spending time with making it.  If I was a part of a family where they needed me to cook for them, what would I cook?  What would be my specialty the same way I think of my grandmother’s peach cobbler, my mother’s roast. Not trying to make food I didn’t want to eat, but just to make it and keep it around so that home food felt as good and as satisfying and as couched in worthiness as an ugly, stale-tasting paper-wrapped hamburger.

I went to the grocery store and I actually shopped.  I actually made a list and didn’t hurry myself to get out because there were too many people or out because it would be too heavy to haul up the stairs in three trips or out because I was so hungry I needed to eat immediately.

I bought a goddamned roast in the effort to recreate one of those meals.  I know I’ll have a week’s worth of leftovers, but I’m looking forward to that, too.

I know this is a bit of a psychic switch flipped.  I know this isn’t a permanent form of my personality.  I know this is not what I am used to or comfortable with.

I know this is about control.  I know this is me being upset about Mr. Confusion giving me the ol’ brush-off.  Still.  Yes,I know this is about feeling like I infantilize myself and I let myself be infantilized and wanting to say, hey, no, I can handle a few things.  Maybe not EVERYTHING, but I can keep a room clean.  I can get myself fed.  But it’s also about, hey, I like having clean sheets to climb into, I like not having to trip over my own things.  I like having food in the cupboards and knowing what to do with it.  I like who I am when those factors are going on in my life.  They also let my brain do other things because I don’t have to run the circuit of SHIT, THIS ROOM IS SO MESSY…I AM A MESSY PERSON…NOBODY NEW CAN EVER SEE THIS…SHIT, I’LL ALWAYS BE ALONE.  OH, THANK GOD, I WILL NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT CLEANING THIS ROOM.   Or some variation on some vicious cycle shit.

More to say, but I’ve said enough.

Blood’s Between the Pages


Somewhere in the distance, some unimpressive fireworks are going off.

You haven’t written, or, texted, or called.  So.  I feel like, some evening, when whatever else is going on stops working out, I’ll come to mind in the very clever, very quick thinking machine of Mr. Confusion.  And perhaps, in a few months, there will be a startling hello.  I don’t know why I feel this way.  I just know that if it were otherwise, all of this would be otherwise.  And that makes me feel rather less than.  Even releasing it to Oprah’s Secret Universe doesn’t mean that I don’t feel what I feel, tried to exist in the Girl Dating Universe and found my foray there cut off rather abruptly.   Nobody wants to be someone’s last choice for dodgeball much less last choice for an emotional connection.

It seemed hard to figure out for a time.  We wrote to one another so passionately and I had in my head those immortal lyrics from Johnny Flynn’s “The Wrote and the Writ” – “Don’t say in a letter what you can’t in my ear.”  And so I threw myself out there, perhaps relatively only inches, but for me, it felt a Grand Canyon.  It felt as though he could say whatever he wanted so if he isn’t saying something now, it’s because he doesn’t want to.  “Do you suppose they swapped their blood for wine, like you swap yours for ink, for ink?”

It seems quite plain to me now that it’s not the words.  It’s not what’s said, it’s the rusted trap that where they lay.  It’s the lady in charge of them.  The box that they came in.

I mean, that’s just Occam’s Razor, isn’t it?  I have no idea.  There is no exit interview.  I am among the wandering masses of singledom in pilgrimage.  There is no miraculous burning of shrubbery where I am given to know he doesn’t find me pretty enough to spend ten minutes writing back to.  Nobody ever knows, it’s just darkness until you throw your dice again.  You’d like to think that we could both transcend these terrible fears and assumptions, but I don’t have the mental flexibility.  Or, maybe I fear the power of the delusion most of all.  That this “ghosting” coincides with a recent run of really destructive body stuff, well, that’s lovely.  I feel like a thick wrapper of bacon greasily shaped around hell.

I’ve decided to work on that part of it.  Not for him or for anyone other than myself.  Because I have no control over his desires.  Or yours or those of the universe.  I am not happy right now.  So this means eating differently, doing differently, being differently.  And the ways of now, the addictions that are supposed to help but haven’t, the pushing forward I have tried to begin and begin and begin and I’ve delayed for perfection’s sake.  All of that has to go.  All of that has to die at midnight.  With a bloody axe through its neck.

All this being said, I am on the come-down now.  And tomorrow is a new day.


Sugar Fog


Well, yesterday was a cheat day and I know all the pitfalls of cheat days.  Or, in the form they’re taking this year, so far, cheat meals.  But, for better or worse, trudging across the street to Old Chicago and ordering up every bread-ish, carb-based thing, I think was actually an okay idea.  Because I discovered that I don’t really like their pizza.  Or their cookie thing.  I think I never have, but when you’re in the sugar fog, you don’t really care about things like taste.  You just know that you have to stuff yourself with food.  And that was the tack for the cheat meal – appetizer, entree, dessert, leave no opportunity for flagrant, unhealthy eating untapped.  Because if you do that, then, when the meal is over, you’ll keep thinking about it and justifying more and more. So I ate a lot of carbs for lunch yesterday.

I actually went just about a whole month between them.  I told myself it was a calendar thing.  One each month so if I had one on the 31st of one, techically I could have the next on the 1st of the other, but I haven’t wanted it.  I think the ol’ Crimson Tide came into play and I’d been marathoning the Great British Bake-Off and we had a shit-ton of snow and pizza sounded pretty perfect.

But everything tasted…marginal.  Like, oh, yeah, this pizza has always had a pretty tasteless crust.  And wow, this garlic bread is oily and that hot cookie thing is so heavy and dry and even the chocolate chips tasted…it was goo, ooze, a sweet, almost burnt tasting glop.  It was all really disappointing.  I had leftovers, but they stayed on the table.  I did think, later, as I was writing yesterday’s lengthy email, that I wouldn’t mind it if I had those leftovers, but it was immediately followed by the feeling that I was glad I didn’t.  Glad that I stuck to the rules of the cheat meal and that these after-effects are things that carbs do to me, things I don’t experience while on my low-carb situation.  Exhausted, stomach like a fist, unable to focus.

I’m still going to have my monthly cheat meal because I think it helps deflate a desire that builds in me, like it or no, where I have to test the premise.  I have to be sure I want to be on this side of things.  But I re-opened my My Fitness Pal account and linked it to my fitbit and am going to get tracking my food and drink so that I can get focused on progress again.  If my half-sister does decide to have her wedding in England, I want to go, and I want to be the best version of myself not at another event frustrated and wishing I’d just worked on this in these lengthy hours I have to do exactly that.

Yeah, sent the letter off.  I have no idea what I’m doing, but it doesn’t matter.